The Savannah Regional Minister, Mr Saeed Muhazu Jibril has set up a task force to stop the destruction of the environment in the region, especially illegal rosewood logging and commercial charcoal.

He said, the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) took a firm decision to completely ban commercial charcoal burning and also rosewood felling because “we have to protect our environment”.

He said “Today we are meeting you to make it known that we are giving commercial charcoal burners four weeks to pack and leave the Savannah and in 30 days, we will not allow any wood whether you have conveyance or not to leave the Savannah Region”.

The Minister disclosed that, the task force would be led by the Police Commander of the Savannah Region and that he has met with the King and Overlord of Gonja and he has given his consent to fight logging and charcoal burning in the Savannah Region.

“If you don’t get the Chiefs involved it will be very difficult to fight illegal logging and so our first step was to meet the Overlord of Gonja to tell him our mission and the mission was very clear and he accepted that we shouldn’t just do the talking as usual but we have to walk the talk and so once the Yagbonwura has given us the green light as the Overlord of the Gonja Kingdom we are very sure that we are going to succeed in this our fight against the destruction of the environment in the Savannah Region”; the Minister said.

The Savannah Regional Minister added that “there is another issue that is rearing its ugly head and that is illegal mining affecting our river bodies”.

Savannah Regional Minister and members of the taskforce

Mr Jibril said, there are many deposits of gold in the Savannah region particularly the western part which has been invaded by illegal miners. He said, they are liaising with owners of the concessions to register these illegal Miners so that they would do community mining which would allow monitoring.

The Savannah Regional Police Commander, DCOP Adu Twum Bediako said, there is a difference between a committee and a task force.

He said; “The role of a task force is to ensure policies are implemented so mine is to arrest and impound with the modalities given to the task force so assuming your charcoal is impounded and you called me from the higher level, I will just tell you I’m a security officer doing my work so contact the Regional Minister”.

By Zion Abdul Rauf- Damongo